Sneak Preview: These sweet Mascarpone Cheesecake Mini Tarts contain mascarpone cheese, the luxurious alternative to cream cheese. Garnish with blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, or other berries. Easy to make ahead.
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Are you planning a shower, reception, or graduation party? These sweet mini mascarpone cheesecake tarts are a great idea, perfect for any celebration–except maybe a kid’s birthday party. Give them the grocery store cupcakes while the adults nibble on these tasty mini-tarts.
Five Reasons Why You Should Make This Recipe for Your Next Party
- Change the fruit to suit the season, your tastes, or the color
- It’s a party in your mouth. The combination of fresh fruit, sweet Mascarpone cream in the filling, and a homemade shortbread crust is unbeatable.
- Easy to serve. No slicing. You also won’t need to transfer a precariously balanced fancy dessert (like a layer cake) to another plate. Individual servings like these mini-tarts are insurance against a dessert that gets mangled on a buffet.
- Easy to eat. These mini-desserts with a sweet cheesecake filling are easily one bite for most men and not more than two bites for more delicate types. In casual settings, you may not even need forks.
- Easy to make. Make or buy the crusts ahead of time. The filling is uncooked, so it requires only minutes. The only last-minute detail is adding the fruit to the top.
The Shortbread Crust
Because I enjoy shortbread more than graham crackers, I wanted to use my favorite shortbread crust recipe for the tart shells. Click this link for the tart shells I purchased and recommend (paid link). However, store-bought crusts are perfectly acceptable.
Whether homemade or store-bought, the mini-tart shells are pre-baked. Therefore, an uncooked filling seemed preferable to the traditional baked cheesecake filling with eggs.
The Mascarpone Cheese Filling
One of my coworkers told me about mascarpone cheese (paid link), the secret ingredient in these tarts. It’s the fancy, more expensive, creamier, and Italian cousin of cream cheese. If you can’t find mascarpone at your grocery store, substitute cream cheese.
Did you know you can make mascarpone cheese? I just tried it myself last night. Wow! That stuff is dangerous! If you already know you love it, don’t miss this recipe for Marvelous Stuffed Shells with Mascarpone, Ricotta, and Spinach.
Back to the tart filling:
Mascarpone cheese combined with melted white chocolate chips and sour cream creates a little bit of heaven in your mouth. Fold in some frozen whipped topping (sorry, I know–not the healthiest ingredient, but you won’t be getting that much unless you eat the whole batch) to lighten the mixture.
A touch of vanilla bean paste adds sophistication. That’s it.
Spoon or pipe the slightly chilled filling into your tart shells for a two-bite dessert just rich enough and sweet enough to enhance whatever fruit you choose to put on top.
Here’s the best news of all. You can prepare these little jewels at least 2-3 days ahead of time except for placing the fruit on top, which should wait until you are almost ready to serve.
A Tip I Learned the Hard Way
The mascarpone cheese must be at room temperature when you make the filling. If the mascarpone is still cold when you add the warm white chocolate, it will harden as soon as it hits the hard cheese, leaving you with a lumpy filling. 😟
Parting thoughts: Mini tarts are my specialty. Here are some mini-tart recipes you might want to check out: Mini Strawberry Tarts with a Homemade Shortbread Crust, Mini Fruit Tarts Recipe with Pastry Cream and the BEST Shortbread Crust, and Easy Mini Lemon Tarts with a Shortbread Crust. I would love to know which one is your favorite.
Help at Your Fingertips: For questions or suggestions, email Paula at saladinajar.com. If you need help, I’m happy to troubleshoot via email (faster than leaving a comment). Attach pictures and as many details as possible for the best advice.
Sweet Mascarpone Cheesecake Mini Tarts
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- 8 ounces (226 g) mascarpone cheese, room temperature or cream cheese
- 1 cup (180 g) white chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons (36 g) sour cream
- 5 tablespoons (22 g) frozen whipped topping, thawed like Cool Whip
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 24 mini-tart shells make them yourself or use store-bought
- 2 teaspoons apple or currant jelly, warmed until slightly runny
- Beat 8 ounces (226 g) mascarpone cheese, room temperature in a medium mixing bowl until light and fluffy. (I use a portable mixer.)
- Melt 1 cup (180 g) white chocolate chips in a small oven-proof bowl in a microwave. Heat for 45 seconds on 50% power and stir. Repeat until the chips are melted.
- Add melted chocolate to the mascarpone cheese and whip. Then add 3 tablespoons (36 g) sour cream and keep whipping until well-combined.
- Use a light touch and a spatula to fold in 5 tablespoons (22 g) frozen whipped topping, thawed and 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste until the filling is smooth.
- Spoon or pipe (ziplock bag with a small snip across one corner works well) filling into 24 mini-tart shells, either store-bought or hand-made.
- Chill. Before serving, add the fruit of your choice. Refrain from washing the fruit, but gently wipe each berry clean with a damp paper towel.
- Lightly glaze fruit by dabbing 2 teaspoons apple or currant jelly, warmed until slightly runny onto each piece of fruit after you have placed it on the tart. No worries if you have the occasional drip.
All images and text ©️ Paula Rhodes for Salad in a Jar.com